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“My Review Before My Review !!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo

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Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera las Terrenas, El Limon Km. 4, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic (Formerly El Portillo Beach Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 33 hotels in Las Terrenas
North Bay, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“My Review Before My Review !!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

Whenever I plan a trip I read all the reviews prior to getting there, I usually go back about a year. El Portillo will be our 7th Annual Girl's Vacation and I'm wondering if I will even need to write a review when I arrive home. Doesn't look like I will have anything new to add. This is the first resort where I have seen such positive reviews, everyone praises everything about it, whether it be staff, beach, food, entertainment, gardens etc. Says a lot about the management, staff and overall operation of the resort. Thumbs up to Bahia Principe el Portillo. Keep the El Presidente cold,we'll be there in 3 days !!!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 31, 2013
Dear Guest,

Receive warm greetings from Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo, especially from our Quality & Customer Service department. We hope this mail finds you very well.

It is a real pleasure for us to get your message about your next visit to our Hotel, especially knowing that you have chosen Grand Bahía Príncipe el Portillo as your holiday destination.

We hope to welcome you. Please do not hesitate on contacting us; we will be at your disposal for whatever you may need.

Kind regards,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (496)
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Who will like : People who want a relaxing quiet atmosphere, beautiful sandy beaches, calm waters and amazing snorkeling.
Who will hate: Partygoers and body surfers

This is our second time at this resort. The first time we've ever decided to go back to the same place. In the last five years we've been to resorts in Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Saint-Lucia and Mexico.

I will probably be repeating some of the same things as others, it will just serve to reinforces the truth.

Transfer and arrival:

Air Transat (flying Canjet) from Montreal to Samana was organized and uneventful. Took the new road that cuts the time in half to 45 minutes. Were were given our documentation for the resort on the bus. Getting off the bus we didn't have enough hands for everything the welcoming committee handed us: Cold towel, welcome drink and cookies. A special table was setup to give us our room keys, didn't even have to go to the front desk.

Royal Golden Junior suite:

For an extra 60$ per person we got the junior suite and though it was worth it. You get a bigger room, nicer bathroom (with single, not double, whirlpool bath and separate shower). you also have your bath robe, slippers and complimentary rum. The beach towels are already in your room. We also appreciated the Iron and board. Last time we were here 4 years ago, in a regular room, we had to beg the maid to loan us one for an hour. You also get turn down service every night. Only wish they left chocolates on my pillow instead of mints. You also get room service but we did not try it out.

You get access to The Club House. This is great on the first day to reserve you're a la carte restaurants. It also gives you access to 2 computers, this use to be useful, but no longer since they installed wifi in the main lobby for everyone having a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

The room upon our arrival was very clean. The maid were very generous with water ( 2 X. 1.5 liter bottles per day) The rooms were often only made late in the afternoon, so the day we decided to take a late afternoon nap, we didn't get room service.

The maids don't do towel art (exept the first day). Too bad, it's frivolous but nice.

My wife found that the bathroom sink was a bit clogged, she also though that the maids could do a better job of passing the broom.

Location of room:

We wanted a first floor suite close to the beach and got second floor in building 10 at the back end of the resort. We decided to try it out before complaining because it gave us access to a private pool between building 10, 11 and 12. We tried it and stayed. to pool only has 12 lounge chairs so the bar man is not very busy and very attentive. it is virtually empty until about 3 pm when the wind picks up on the beach.

The only disadvantage to our location was that you could hear the music from the outdoor plaza (pueblo principe) from 10 pm to 11 pm. Not that it was loud enough to stop us from sleeping (ya we're early risers).

Resort layout:

This is a smaller resort so even if we were at the backend (building 10) things were still close. Last year we were at Iberostar pareiso beach resort in the riviera maya, now that is a sprawled out resort (but still very nice). The resort is also in the middle of nowhere. you can walk for miles along the beach, with some houses but mostly just palm trees.

The staff:

This was the biggest improvement from when we were here 4 years ago. Staff were much more attentive, many more spoke english (and to our surprise, french). At some points, during peak hours, we had to wait for service, the waiters were running around trying to do their best , with the staff they had. Once they got to us they were always smiling and friendly. They work very hard, I always appreciated the efforts they made. It made all the difference to an agreable stay. At one point I noticed a LOT of supervisors making sure that everything was O.K.. Personnally, you could see the staff knew what had to be done. Fire a few of the excess supervisors and hire more waiters.

The beach:

Best snorkeling I've had off a resort beach, at low tide you can feed the fish without even being in the water. There are coral heads for the fish, yet between the coral you have a beautiful sandy bottom. Because of the coral, there are no big waves (great for small children). This also means it is not the best place for sailing but best of all, NO JET SKIES.

The food:

We found the food very good. It is not the most expansive buffet we've ever seen, but every day one part of the buffet changed depending of the theme. There was always fish, chicken , beef and pork in different international dishes which were very tasty. Yes, for the finicky (I say unimaginative) eater there is the pasta bar and the pizza bar. There was no grill for those that want hamburgers and hot dogs. you had to create them piece meal.

Gourmet restaurants:

we only tried the seafood and the french restaurant. They were O.K. (no more) but the setting was nice. Some items were very good, some not. At the french restaurant my wife had a great smoked tartar salmon. I asked for another and they gladly obliged. We had reservation for the italian, but when we went and read the menu, we were uninspired an chose to eat at the buffet. The Asian ( I think) restaurant was closed for renovation when we arrived. but at the end it had re-opened.

The clientele:

Seemed to be mostly Canadians (french and english) some german, hispanic,and on weekends, upper class (if i rely on the brand of cars in the parking lot) Dominicans. A lot of families with small children.

The pool bars:

At the main pool bar there is a self serve slush machine with piña colada and banana mama. and beside it a bottle of white and dark rhum, YYYYYYYYESSSS, Finally a resort that understands me. No I'm not a drunk, but I don't like my drinks watered down either. Also the pool for building 10, 11 and 12 has it's own barman. Since there are only 12 deck chairs, after our second day, he would see us and he knew our usual and would bring us without even asking. Now THAT is service.

The pool:

The main pool is small compared to some resorts where the pool meanders throughout the place.

Deck chairs:

Be it on the beach or around the pool, there were always chairs available. We were there during what I would think is peak season (December 26th to January 2nd) and we always wondered where everyone was, because it sure wasn't crowded.

Entertainment:

We saw the lion king musical and a Michael Jackson tribute but in each case left half way though. Looking at all the empty seats, the entertainment did not seem very popular.

Buying supplies:

if you want to buy rum, coffee, cigars, walk out of the resort, turn right, walk about 10 minutes (past the end of the disaffected runway and just past the curve). You will see a small grocery Store (with an El Presidente beer sign, if memory serves). Stuff is about 40 percent cheaper that in the resort boutiques.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Guests,

We are very happy to hear that you have found Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo a wonderful hotel and that the assigned rooms were suitable for you and your family.

Thank you for your review about the hotel. Your experience is especially valuable for us, as you can give us feedback along the time.

We hope to welcome you again to the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and to thank them in person. Contact us at our email address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com.

Regard,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Can
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

We strongly recommended this resort. For first time traveller with young children it is the perfect place. The ocean is calm and very secure. This resort has everything you need. The accommodations were of high quality, the staffs are especially friendly. With or without tips, they work very hard to please you.

Everything you need is on the resort and there is no need to go elsewhere unless you want to sightsee or shops in the local flee market.

We meet someone very special whom we call our angel: Her name Maria Bonsenor, she is the second big manager of the hotel. It was my second time at this hotel; she makes sure I got my special gift. This person is always giving outstanding services to everyone. She is very friendly with a big heart, she always ensure all tourists have everything they need during their stay. You see her all around the hotel at the beach, restaurant and lobby. She ensured all tourist enjoyed they stay. She always takes the time to talk with tourist to ensure we have outstanding services regard the time of the day, she took her job very seriously and she is proud to work for this hotel. I hope to see you again Maria, thank you for your excellent services.

The food is very good, and the price for this hotel was excellent too.

The hotel has made some upgrade since my last stay especially for the golden guess. The office for golden guess is now in the main lobby before it was in a small house outside the hotel, this is much better than before. The staff which we make reserve for the restaurant could speak very good French, this is good if you do not speak English. The restaurants a la carte were better than before, the services a bit slow but we were on holiday so no stress. Staffs in all dining area were very friendly and always smiling. They make you feel like you’re part of their family.
The animation (Daniel) and all other were excellent and very friendly. Over all we had a wonderful vacation without any negative comment. We were very impresses and we recommend this place to any visitor.

Sincerity,

Sandra and Josée family.

Room Tip: I recomend the golden junior suite for all the extra and specially the check in in the bus.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking your time and write this comment about our hotel!

We really appreciate your nice comments regarding our hotel, rooms and services and even more the ones regarding our staff! Mrs. Maria Bonseñor will be so happy to hear the nice words that you have for his!

We hope to welcome you again to the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and to thank them in person. Contact us at our email address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com.

Regard,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

We came here to celebrate new years eve with some friends that were staying near by. Rooms are huge and very clean but a bit far from the lobby and the beach which can be a pain when it rains but is still a nice walk an there are trolleys that can you a lift if you want to wait. The restaurants are crowded but the food is decent. Make sure you make a reservation before 3pm f you want to go for dinner to any of the other restaurants. The beach is a beautiful and quiet and bungalows are easy to find despite the amount of people. Wifi didnt work to well and you have to buy a $50 card if you want to have in your room.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your kind comment about your stay at the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo.
We are very disappointment to hear that we did not reach your expectations regarding your recent stay with us and we would like to extend our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused. You can rest assure that all your comments will be taken in consideration and we really appreciate them.

Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion with us and we hope you could give us the opportunity to can host you in the future.

Please do not hesitate on contacting us in our e-mail address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com

Regard,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lima
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

This hotel offers the best of both worlds for beach lovers: A peaceful semi-private beach with all amenities & services right at your fingertips AND a gorgeous, long beachfront adjacent where you can walk along and pretend you're on a deserted isle. Vacation heaven! Very good snorkeling with fishies eating out of your hand.

Come to El Portillo for an absolutely no-stress beach vacation. The property is set in the midst of lush mountainous terrain, dotted with the brightly painted houses of the local people.

The hotel room and service met our expectations; things really perked up for us after Leandro upgraded us to villa 1, right in back of the snack bar on the beach. We literally could roll out of bed and take ten steps and be in our beach chairs.

This is definitely a couples resort and one that is friendly to families. I saw a few large groups of people in their 20s who were using the hotel as a base for outdoor adventures. We heard every language spoken: French, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish and New York-ese.:)

Don't have high expectations of the food. You can eat well at the buffet if you know what to go for (pasta station, salad, fabulous red beans and rice). We ate three times at the reservation-only restaurants and were disappointed with the odd flavors and fussy presentations. In defense of the food, I never once got sick eating at El Portillo whereas I did get sick from a pineapple beverage I stupidly drank on the beach at Cayo Levantado, which we visited one afternoon.

My husband and 14-year-old son loved El Portillo so much they didn't want to go back home. We'll be back soon.

Room Tip: Speak to the manager, Leandro
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 29, 2013
Dear Guest,

We are greatly appreciating your comments. Our goal it is achieve maximum satisfaction of our guests. We hope to welcome you again to the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and to thank them in person. Contact us at our email address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com.

Greetings from El Portillo.

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed at this Hotel Jan 12 -19th and were treated like royalty. The staff and accommodations were beyond excellent. The hotel was clean and the water hot for showers. The food at the buffet was amazing and there was something for everyone. The beach is absolutely beautiful as we walked it pretty much every day. You can walk for a very long time on the beach and see a lot of different things and it is safe. I would strongly recommend this hotel as a must see in Dominican. Lots to do....

Room Tip: The larger upgraded suits are amazing, we stayed close to the main office which was very local to ev...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Dear Guests,

We are very happy to hear that you have found Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo a wonderful hotel and that the assigned rooms were suitable for you and your family.

Thank you for your review about the hotel. Your experience is especially valuable for us, as you can give us feedback along the time. We work every day to satisfy our guest needs and we are really happy to see that you have enjoyed our food, our service and our staff.

We hope to welcome you again the next year to the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and to thank them in person. Contact us at our email address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We vacationed at the bahia may 2012, we actually went there to get married. we absolutely loved it there, it was clean, well kept, the staff were all extremely friendly and helpful. When we arrived we were greeted with performers and a welcome drink which was absolutely amazing.The bar tenders were all great and didn't cheap out on the liquor. We went as a group ages ranging from 18-60's, and we took our one and a half year old. its a great resort for both families and also for partying. The rooms were fantastic, always fully stocked mini bar in your room.. only con about our room.. we had a big rain fall one day and our room actually flooded... we were immediately moved rooms no questions asked.The entertainment staff were great they would come pool side and perform, and then there were the nightly performances as well and after the night performance everyone would go to the disco.The food was standard buffet food for buffets, it did have a wide varriety though, the beach snack bar was typical, hot dogs, fries, nachos, cold meats and pastas with fruits) The actual buffet was huge with tons of variety. the a la cartes were good we went to two. The beach was beautiful, a bit of coral reef would come in during the day at times but was fairly far out. you do have people coming to try to sell you things on the beach but we didn't care to much.. if you tell them no they typically go away. We also ventured into the near by town las terrenas which was a short cab ride away, which the hotel reception will call for you no issues. the locals were all friendly and we had no issues. so over all we couldn't have asked for a better stay! i would recommend this resort to anyone!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Jefe Calidad & Customer Service at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, responded to this review, February 5, 2013
Dear Guest,

First let me inform you that your opinion is valuable to us, therefore we are extremely proud and happy for having left a pleasant memory. We are especially appreciating your positive comments about of our facilities and our beautiful beach. Comments like that you send us, are what motivate us as a team every day to improve the quality of service we offer.

We hope to welcome you again to the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo and to thank them in person. Contact us at our email address info.elportillo@bahia-principe.com.

Regard,

Kisha Rodríguez Then
Jefe Calidad & Customer Service
Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo

Address: Carretera las Terrenas, El Limon Km. 4, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic (Formerly El Portillo Beach Resort)
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Samana Province > Las Terrenas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Las Terrenas
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Las Terrenas
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Las Terrenas
#7 Romantic Hotel in Las Terrenas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo 3.5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe El Portillo Hotel Las Terrenas
El Portillo Beach Resort
Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo Las Terrenas, Samana, Dominican Republic

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